Frustrated motorists set up sarcastic Tripadvisor page for A14 flooding

By John Mercury March 11, 2024

Frustrated motorists have been leaving sarcastic messages on Tripadvisor over flooding on the A14, which has been causing long delays for nearly three weeks.

National Highways said it has removed more than 12 million litres of water – equivalent to nearly five Olympic-sized swimming pools – in the last week from the site along the eastbound carriageway at Newmarket.

Disruption on the SuffolkCambridgeshire border started on 22 February and caused some motorists to experience delays of several hours when the carriageway was reduced to one lane.

The A14 is one of the UK’s main freight arteries as it connects with Felixstowe port in Suffolk – and some haulage companies have called the long delays a “shambles”.

Lane one is closed “for the time being” between junctions 37 and 38, and lanes two and three “remain open” as National Highways works with other partners and the Environment Agency to “resolve the issue”.

A spokesperson for National Highways told Sky News: “Lane one remains closed for the time being as the team is still dealing with a high volume of water.”

Pump equipment is still positioned in lane one to “make sure, if the flooding situation is back due to bad weather, we can deal with it,” the spokesperson added.

On reviews and ratings website, Tripadvisor, the flooding has been dubbed “The Newmarket Puddle”, attracting a 3.5 out of five rating and a series of sarcastic comments from motorists.

A14 flooding at Newmarket. Pic: National Highways
Pic: National Highways

Motorists have made a sarcastic page for the flooding on the A14, which they have called The Newmarket Puddle. Pic: Tripadvisor
Motorists have made a sarcastic Tripadvisor page for the flooding on the A14. Pic: Tripadvisor

One user wrote: “Visited this famous puddle unintentionally for almost two hours whilst travelling back from work, wow what a sight!”

Another post said: “Absolutely breathtaking, brought the whole family along and it did not disappoint.

“The only disappointment was that there wasn’t any refreshments on site. Would go again.”

In another post, a user said: “Fantastic experience. Did I miss the little gift shop?

“A souvenir pencil with a small useless rubber on the end, would have made the two hour delay so worth while!”

Map of A14 flooding site along the A14 at Newmarket. Map by Sky News graphics team.

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In its latest maintenance update, National Highways said: “This flooding issue continues to be a regional priority, and we are seeking assistance from all parties. We continue to work with partners, including the Environment Agency, to resolve the issue.

“The source of the flooding is believed to [be] due to high water levels in the area, so it could be some time before the water level drops.

“The Environment Agency has advised us that, following the exceptional rainfall in the area over the last few months, the ground is very saturated and groundwater levels are high.

“They currently have a groundwater flood alert in force for areas of Newmarket.”


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